Yesterday was the 19 year anniversary of the Northridge earthquake. In recognition of the 6.7 trembler that dropped a bunch of books on my head, and scared the crap out of me at 4:31 in the morning, here are 19 projections for the 2013 Dodger season that will make you rumble. So stand in those doorways, and drop, duck and cover, because here they are in no particular order.
1. Matt Kemp’s shoulder makes a full recovery as he goes on to win the NL MVP award, further cementing his stardom. Kemp leads the league in home runs, RBI, runs scored, and slugging percentage. He then gets a contract to take a bunch of racy photos with his MVP award. The photos appear in G.Q. magazine, and every woman I Los Angeles buys ten copies each to hang up over their bedrooms.
2. Fee agent acquisition birdman Zack Greinke wins 20 games, before sprouting wings before his last start of the regular season. Surprisingly the wings give him more aerodynamics on his breaking balls, making him even harder to hit then ever before.
3. Clayton Kershaw continues to be amazing in every single way.
4. Ronald Belisario finally shows up to spring training camp on time, and becomes an invaluable member of the Dodger bullpen.
5. Kenley Jansen whiffs well over 100 batters.
6. Brandon League flourishes in the closer role. After he records his 50th save of the season, Dodger fans celebrate by getting a tattoo in his honor.
7. The Dodgers finally release Juan Uribe. A parade breaks out in los Angeles after the report breaks. Empanada sales triple as a result.
8. Every single bobblehead giveaway game sells out.
9. Ted Lilly accepts his new role as a spot starter/long ma in the bullpen. He is able to stay healthy as a result and goes on to have a productive last season of his contract.
11. A.J. Ellis continues to serve as the Dodger’s emotional and spiritual compass of the team. A.J. continues to make miracles happen, leading the team with his clutch performances. The man is a rock.
12. Luis Cruz becomes one of the most beloved Dodgers in recent memory. Cruz bats .300 smacking 15 home runs, while playing in 135 games. Dodger fans chants of “Cruuuuuuuuuz”, can be heard all throughout the postseason, as the Cruz naysayers eat a big plate of crow.
13. Dee Gordon spends the entire season in Albuquerque but learns how to get on base, and improves his defense. He gets a call-up to the big club in September.
14. Hanley Ramirez has a solid season despite struggling on defense. He smacks 28 home runs, drive sin 109 runs, and bats .277, which earns him a reserve spot on the National League all-star team.
15. Adrian Gonzalez quietly has an all-star caliber season, slugging 32 home runs, knocking in 110 runs, and batting .298, while playing a flawless first base. Nobody remembers James Loney. Or should I say nobody WANTS to remember Loney.
16. Manager Don Mattingly continues to infuriate Dodger fans with constant bunting, but manages with a steady hand and wins the NL Manager of the year award after leading the Dodgers to their first World Series in 25 years.
18. With the Dodgers leading by a run in the top of the ninth inning of game seven of the NLCS against the Giants, Don Mattingly gives the ball to lefty J.P. Howell, who runs in from the bullpen and whiffs Pablo Sandoval with the bases loaded like a misbehaved rented mule.
19. Vin Scully announces his return in 2014, as the Dodgers win the World Series in 2013. All Dodger fans across the globe celebrate in euphoria. A riot ensues in downtown Los Angeles. Stacie and myself witness the huge celebration and hug as the tears begin to flow. Lasorda’s Lair wins the award for best sports blog of the year. (Hey it could happen!)
You never know! Remember when spring training begins every team is in first place, and anything is possible. Shake rattle and roll guys.